Tuesday, June 29, 2010

NBA Free Agency 2010: On the Eve of Armageddon

"'Twas the Night Before Free Agency, when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse."

Well, here we are. As a Cavs fan, I have already prepared myself for what appears to be most likely an inevitability... LeBron leaving town.

Sports Illustrated put together a nice piece, including predictions on where people end up.

However, just to be clear, it appears that if LeBron's guiding principle is to "win championships," than indeed he would choose Chicago or Miami. Either a LeBron-Bosh-J. Noah-D. Rose or even just a D. Wade - LeBron - Beasley scenario appears to be more likely to win the whole thing than a LeBron-Jamison - Mo Williams - Andy Varejao.

The wildcard in this whole mess is whether the Cavs pull off a sign-and-trade to get someone like Chris Bosh. Evaluating sign-and-trades in the NBA is damn near impossible, because usually teams do the sign-and-trade because the player is leaving anyway (e.g. see Orlando getting a trade exception back last year for Turkoglu). However, one need only go back to 2005 and Joe Johnson's last foray into free agency to see utter insanity, when the Hawks gave up Boris Diaw, two 1st round picks, and a trade exception.

So, the question becomes this, how much will Toronto require from another team to allow Chris Bosh to walk away? Your guess is as good as mine on this. When looking at the Cavs roster, remember, they have to give up $17 million in contracts (approximately) to get back a $17 million Chris Bosh. It pretty much means you are giving up one of: Jamison ($13 million), Mo Williams ($9 million), or Varejao ($7 million) plus a bunch of other spare parts [Delonte's $5 million non-guaranteed contract, J. Moon ($3), Parker ($3), Telfair ($2.7), Hickson ($1.5)].

In the end, I think that Toronto's GM Bryan Colangelo is smart, so he would do a different sign-and-trade to get something better than what the Cavs can offer. So... I would guess LeBron and Bosh end up together on Chicago (since Chicago can give up Luol Deng to get Bosh).

I would then guess Amare goes to Miami to join D. Wade, the Knicks make the dumb move of giving Joe Johnson max money, the Nets pay near-max money for Rudy Gay, and the Cavs do not get any of the major free agents.


Hitman said...

Mike & Mike speculated this morning that there won't be much sign-and-trade activity, precisely because there's so much cap room floating around that teams don't need to use the sign-and-trade tool to acquire the players they want.

I'm a dormant Bulls fan who laments the decline of the NBA, would love to see LeBron here, but...honestly, I think it would be pretty cool if he stays home in Cleveland.

Gutsy Goldberg said...

See... what Mike & Mike said is absolutely true. Many teams have cap space to get whomever they want (unlike the Cavs). However, the part where this gets messy, which I should have explained, is that the NBA is set-up such that an unrestricted free agent (i.e. LeBron, Bosh) gets slightly more money and a 1-year longer contract by signing with his own team. Thus, the assumption is that Bosh (and maybe LeBron?) will tell other teams that they want the max money they can get... meaning they will sign with their old teams (i.e. Cavs, Toronto) and then force sign-and-trades to other destinations.

I obviously also hope that LeBron just stays in Cleveland... it just doesn't seem very likely.